CEP released updated resources on Mali, Burkina Faso, and Islamist extremist group al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb following a suicide truck bombing at a military camp in the northern Mali city of Gao that killed at least 47 people and wounded more than 100. The attack targeted Malian soldiers and members of pro-government forces who were set to begin mixed patrols, a key step in the implementation of a peace agreement between the government and Tuareg rebels that ended a 2012-2013 separatist movement in Gao and surrounding areas. AQIM and other violent Islamist groups opposed the peace agreement.
CEP released the Terrorists and Extremists Database, an updated, searchable list and interactive map of detailed biographical information on more than 400 of the world’s most dangerous leaders, propagandists, operatives, and terror financiers. The Database features new graphics and search categories that allow users to more easily locate, organize, and compare information. Users can search the database in a number of different ways: by name, organization, type of leader, type of operative, and by country of origin.
Two years after the horrific and deadly attacks at a satirical magazine and a kosher supermarket in Paris, France continues to struggle with persistent and ever more deadly extremist violence. Armed with assault rifles, submachine guns, pistols, and a rocket launcher, brothers Chérif and Said Kouachi stormed the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo on January 7, 2015, eventually killing 12 people. Two days later, associate Amedy Coulibaly killed four people at a Paris kosher supermarket and took others hostage. All three were eventually killed in gun battles with French police.
CEP released updated resources on extremism and counter-extremism in Germany following the death of the prime suspect in a December 19 truck attack on an outdoor Berlin Christmas market in a shootout with Italian police in Milan. The attacker, believed to be Tunisian-born Anis Amri— plowed a truck into a crowd of people at a Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 people and injuring 48 others. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack through its Amaq news agency, calling the driver a “soldier” of the Islamic State.
CEP released updated resources on two of the most powerful Iraqi Shiite militias, Kata'ib Hezbollah (KH) and Asaib Ahl al-Haq (AAH), trained and supported by Iran, that are fighting with Hezbollah for the Assad regime in Syria. On December 13, 2016, the United Nations implicated AAH’s Syrian wing in the slaughter of dozens of civilians in Aleppo. Despite a July Human Rights Watch report that documented killings, disappearances, torture, and the destruction of homes by Iraqi militia groups during the fight to retake Iraqi Sunni-dominated areas from ISIS, the Shiite militias were formally recognized by the Iraqi Parliament in November 2016.
CEP congratulated Senior Advisor Dr. Hany Farid on being named a fellow by the prestigious National Academy of Inventors (NAI). Dr. Farid is being honored for his innovative research in image analysis and digital forensics, a field which he pioneered. For the last year, Dr. Farid has worked with CEP to develop eGLYPH, a new robust hashing technology capable of identifying and quickly removing the most horrific and violent extremist images, video, and audio from the Internet and social media platforms. “Dr. Farid is truly a transformational figure and a person whose vision, drive, and integrity have made the world a safer and better place,” said CEP CEO Ambassador Mark D. Wallace.
CEP Senior Advisor and Dartmouth College Computer Science Professor Dr. Hany Farid was interviewed by National Public Radio, the Guardian , and Defense One, regarding an announcement by Facebook, Microsoft, YouTube (Google), and Twitter to cooperatively work in 2017 to identify and possibly remove certain extremist images and videos from their platforms. While CEP welcomed the move, Dr. Farid said many questions concerning the program’s scope and transparency need to be answered.
CEP released a statement today condemning the Boko Haram suicide bombing carried out by two women at a market in Madagali , Nigeria, that killed at least 30 people. "Madagali residents were liberated from Boko Haram’s rule earlier this year, but this attack shows their struggle with terror is far from over."
HBO’s VICE News Tonight broadcast a segment that detailed the workings of CEP's hashing technology, developed with Dartmouth College Computer Science Professor Dr. Hany Farid, that is capable of removing extremist images, video, and audio content from Internet and social media platforms. Dr. Farid was also interviewed about the announced plan by Facebook, Microsoft, Google, and Twitter to cooperatively work to remove certain extremist content from their platforms.
CEP CEO Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, in a statement, said he was pleased that social media companies, with support from the European Union, are adopting technology that will help remove extremist content from their platforms. He noted that the technology, video hashing, was developed and discussed with social media companies and the EU by CEP and Dr. Hany Farid, a professor at Dartmouth College and the world’s foremost hashing expert, during conversations dating back to last winter.